Named after the ivy in Wrigley Field, this Cubbie-theme bar has plenty of pizzas, pastas and cocktails for anyone who steps into its 7,000-square-foot interior. While $11-$17 dishes may be a little steep (at least for us poor post-graduates) the extra green spent is well worth it. The quality of the food speaks for itself upon the first bite, and the service is exquisitely friendly.
That's none too surprising, considering that Red Ivy is an offshoot of Palermo's, a family-owned, 40-year-old South Suburban staple. Pizzas come in thin, deep-dish and stuffed varieties. The non-pizza hound should try the eggplant sandwich. My friend called it "delightfully greasy." When I asked him to elaborate, he made the international sign for "can't talk, must eat!" You can't receive any higher praise than that.
Food aside, I was a bit overwhelmed by the massive multimedia display. Red Ivy's 180-inch projector receives a DIRECTV feed that is then displayed two 120-inch screens and a gaggle of flatscreen televisions as well. Here's the kicker: There are even televisions in the men's restroom. I'm sure that'll bring tears of joy to a few sports-loving eyes.
For those of you who aren't ga-ga over sports, there's a separate dining room that features Red Ivy's ambient touches (low-lit, red color scheme, mahogany tables) in a more living-room-like, television-free atmosphere.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jon Graef